Ghanaian journalist and TV presenter, Paa Kwesi Asare, the first Ghanaian 2023 Komla Dumor Award Winner, has expressed his excitement about winning the award.
He explained that he feels thrilled to win the award because it’s been eight years since the Komla Dumor Award was launched by BBC and no Ghanaian has ever won.
“It’s exciting; it’s a thrilling feeling, but it also feels like a lot of responsibility on my shoulders.
“The exciting part of it is that it’s been eight years since the Komla Dumor Award was launched by the BBC and we’ve all been eagerly waiting for a Ghanaian to win this award”.
He added that the awards have been won by two Ugandans, two Nigerians who have won back to back, with a Kenyan and lastly a Zambian.
He recalled when he entered the very maiden edition and he came runner-up.
“I’m sure Naa will recall in our days at EIB, the very maiden edition, the inaugural one. I entered and then I came runner-up. It was won by Nancy Kacungira who currently works for the BBC. Very much deserved”.Paa Kwesi Asare
The broadcaster opined that it has been eight years down the line and then he felt like he should try again this year since he was the runner-up at the maiden edition.
He said that he got friends asking him what he did right and what he didn’t do right so they can join, and that’s when he decided to try again.
“For me, I think between 2015 and now a lot has happened in my life; a lot has changed. The very maiden edition in 2015, I think I just had three months of television experience. I just joined Tv3 because I have done radio for a very long time.
“Eight years down the line, I’ve been in and out of the country. I’ve garnered a lot of experience for myself. I’ve become bolder. My understanding of global and national issues are better. I have a relatively better grasp of continental issues and so I said listen I’m going to go for the jaguar this time and then here we go”.Paa Kwesi Asare
Paa Kwesi Asare tells the story of how the BBC informed him of his win
Paa Kwesi Asare told the story of how BBC informed him of his win in a suspicious way.
According to him, BBC gave him an idea of how the interview will be and what they will be talking about, adding that there were 10 slots for the award.
He explained that the interview stage was an interview and an exam. Also, he said they gave him a link to Zoom.
“You know BBC how they work, they would give you an idea of what you going to talk about because the interview stage was an interview and an exam. So there was no idea and then all I got on Wednesday morning was a link to Zoom, so I started suspecting and this was supposed to be a 9 am Canadian time”.Paa Kwesi Asare
He further added that 10 minutes to 9 am, he received an e-mail from BBC telling him they were going to give him another password. He said that he waited till 30 minutes past 10 before they sent the password to him to log on.
During the Zoom meeting, he got questioned about where he was staying and how long he would be staying there and asked how his name is pronounced. Later the news was broken to him as the winner of the award.
“Then 10:30, they just sent me the password and I logged on. They were like, ‘So where are you and I answered I’m in Canada. How long are you going to be there, I told them. So how is your name pronounced, I said Paa Kwesi Asare. Okay, so the reason why we are doing this is to let you know that you are the winner of the 2023 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.
“The BBC is going to release the trailer very soon.If not today, then tomorrow. They actually recorded that. So they would release that trailer”.Paa Kwesi Asare